Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Tag: poet

Book Review: Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God

 Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God: The Scandalous Truth of the Very Good News, Brian Zahnd, Waterbrook, 2017.

Brian Zahnd has been on a theological and spiritual journey. And thankfully, he has taken any who are willing to go, with him. Much of this journey has been documented in his earlier books and through his sermons at Word of Life Church.

Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God continues to take us on this journey. Here Zahnd turns a traditional theological understanding of a vengeful God on its head. That is, the idea that God has utter contempt for humankind that was introduced by Jonathan Edwards in 1741.

Edwards’ sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, which I read for the first time in an American Lit class in college, is the main vehicle of this idea. A Puritan classic, the sermon is one of the prominent influences on American evangelicalism. Zahnd provides plenty of quotes from Edwards’ sermon in the opening chapter as he prepares the reader for the shift he is about to make.

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The other night CBS Evening News included a recitation of Maya Angelou’s poem “Caged Bird” as a part of their tribute to the acclaimed poet. Angelou’s words have been there when words could not be found. She provided a voice for the hurting, the abused, the neglected, and the oppressed. She sought for freedom in all the ways it is expressed and manifested. Here these words by one of the greatest, if not the greatest, poet and ponderer of our time.

© 2017 Jason C. Stanley

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